Sunday, April 24, 2011

One will not hurt you

If I hear that one more time this weekend. I am going to lay a smack down on someone!  Here the quick math of all the times I have heard that this weekend:

Muffin at bake sale 500
Fish Fry w/ FF and cole slaw 1500
Sugar cookies 200 (bc I know I would have had at least 2!)
Chicken wing Dip and chips 500
the other 1/2 of the cake from the shower 350
Brownie ice cream sundae 375
Baked Potatoes with cheese 275
TOTAL 3700

So yes one will hurt me.  I have made the decision not to eat it please accept that decision and support it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Utica Zoo

We all know my kids are wild.  I think that animal instinct is why they love the zoo.  A typical spring to fall includes us attending about 3 different trips to zoos.  2011 is starting early, we made our first trip to the Utica zoo yesterday. 

Thanks to a great seize the deal offer we have a season pass!  The family season pass was offered for 27bucks.  not a bad deal since it also gives us a discount to other zoo, including buffalo zoo which we plan to visit in July.  I only need to go to the zoo twice to recoup my cost after that its all to my benefit.  They told me that they sold 300 of the passes that’s about $9K of bonus income early in the season.


The zoo has been making the news a lot lately.  Despite all the budget and funding issues in our state and area they are not on the news asking for money.  They are talking about the new animals and improvements.  All this leads me to believe they are under new management.  Never the less the improvements were noticeable! 

First this past winter saw the passing of the tigers, that have now been replaced with an awesome Lion!


They are adding over 18 new animals this year.  Including a new sea loin and ostrich (both already there) and an African alley! 


Did you know that an ostrich only has 2 toes per foot? and that his eyes are bigger than his brain?!!! you do now!  I think Tyler’s excited about the new animals, every time he saw a coming soon sign he asked “what animal is going there mom?”

The children's zoo area had the most noticeable changes.  New pavement, and new exhibit going up and a huge new playground!

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While at the zoo we were able to watch a “baby” porcupine get fed a banana!  Okay he was a year old but so very cute I wanted to feed him!


We also watch a peacock putting on a show for the ladies!


Then we came to the goats that you can feed.  Tyler was all over it and so was Emma….well.  She was until she had to put her hand out and feed the goat.  Then she was all about giving the food to her brother to feed the goat!


After that she just picked up all the food of the ground and tried to stick it back in the dispenser.


The kids ended the trip with some ice cream!


Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite dinner to make is stuffed peppers.  I like the taste but also the fact that I can so easily make them the night before.  It allows all the flavors to blend and then I just need to heat them up!  Here how I make them…

I start by cutting 3 red peppers in half and cleaning out the seeds.  I then place them under the broiler  until the skin starts to blister.  I flip them and cook the inside too!

Meanwhile the stuffing!!

I brown up about a pound of ground meat (beef, chuck, venison, turkey-whatever you like).  While its browning I add a 1/2 of a red onion finely chopped, and a few shakes of Worchester sauce.  Once its cooked I drain off any fat that’s in pan.  Note that if I use ground turkey I add to slices of turkey bacon.

To the pan I add: 1 med. zucchini chopped, 1 cup of cooked brown rice, grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half (you can use diced tomatoes too), salt, pepper, oregano, basil, Roasted garlic fresh mushrooms, and  1/2 cup of salsa.

Once everything is warm and mixed together I sprinkle in some cut green onions.


At this point I could just eat it with a spoon out of the pan!  If want you can add more salsa if its too dry for you.  I like to stuff the peppers with the mixture then top each with a spoonful of extra salsa on top instead.   To top off your pepper you can sprinkle some Mexican cheese and/or sour cream.

So that’s how I make do you make yours?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kabobs and Grilled Red Potatoes

There is nothing better then spending a day outside after a long winter.  The air finally warm, the grass turning greener, and the birds creating a beautiful background melody. 


I spent Saturday morning turning the ground in my garden.  My son picking the worms from each turn of soil, dreaming of his first fishing trip of the year.  Excited by the findings of fuzzy caterpillars and spiders.  My daughter playing with Max who was recently relocated from his winter den (aka our shed) to his summer home.  He was soaking up the sun dreaming of carrots before the arrival of the almost 2year old blonde beast!!


At the end of the day we finally settled down for a great grilled dinner! It made me dream of summer with my own fresh veggies.  For dinner we had Grilled kabobs and grilled red potatoes!


You will need:

  • 1lb of Kabob mean – I get mine from Drover Hill Farms
  • 2 Bell peppers, I like to mix the colors
  • 1 med red onion
  • 1 med zucchini
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Blue Mountain Seasoning from Old Goat Foods
  • Kabob sticks

Earlier in the day before going outside I sliced up all my veggies and put them in a bowl.  I added roughly 3 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper.  I mixed the veggies so that they were evenly covered in the vinegar and season.  

In another bowl, I placed the kabob meat and sprinkle the blue mountain seasoning mix along with pepper.  Add as much of the season as you like to suit your taste. 

Right before dinner I loaded up the kabob sticks with the goods!  I ended up with 5 kabobs that had veggies and meat, and one that was all veggies.

your grill time we depend on how thick cut the meat is. But we cook ours slow.  The only down side of kabobs is they will disappear fast!

Grilled Potatoes!!


so easy and so yum.

I purchased a bag of small red potatoes.  I figure about 3-4 per serving/person.  I sliced them in half and put them in a microwave for about 2 minutes so they were partially cooked.  Then in a bowl, I mixed the potatoes, 1 Tbsp of EVOO, 1 Tbsp of rosemary seasoning and some sea salt.  When the potatoes were covered evenly and added them to the top rack of the grill.  They go perfectly with the kabobs.  They also cook well that the low and slow temp of the kabobs.  I love them!!


I so hope this coming weekend is warm with a taste of summer, don’t you?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Spring is in the air!  we have lots to do this weekend and looking forward to being outside for most of it!!  hello 50+ degree weather! I have been wearing open toe shoes since Thursday!!  LOVE IT!!!


So here are some quick updates before we head out doors:

The chickens are getting bigger!


The kids love them! they have to go see them as soon as they get out of the car each night!

They are even good with their chores:


We braved the wind last weekend to play outside here some photos!

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Our Strawberry's are coming along!  Definitely on the to do list today is to get dirty in the gardens!  I would also like to go down to 840 for a little run!  I am running a 5K in 2 weeks!

In other news, tyler started Tball this week.  It was so cute, they did really well!

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035 Grandma Denise thinks he looks like a bobblehead!! lol
Then there was this move.  After a few attempts that didn’t go well Tyler swung the bat.  But as a back up plan he brought his foot around to kick the ball if needed! 043

To Emma Tee ball meant two things 1) playground  2) ice cream


Have a great day! I have a few recipes to share so I will try to type them up tonight when we come inside!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shrimp Pasta and Grilled Pork steaks with Grill Asparagus

It was a weekend of yummy dinners.  Saturday Night we made shrimp pasta!


Sorry the photo was from my cell phone.  Anyway I used a lot of veggies in this dish to off set the carbs in the pasta.  I actually only cooked 2 servings of pasta for 4 people.  While the pasta was cooking I combined the following in a large pan:

  • 1 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • zucchini
  • 1/2 yellow squash
  • Portabella mushroom
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • Crushed garlic

After all the veggies were cooked, about 4-6 minutes, I added the cooked shrimp to heat it up.  Adding salt, pepper, basil, oregano and some fresh green onions completed the veggies and protein.

The sauce was very easy.  In a small pan I heated 1 tablespoon of basil infused canola oil.  Once that was heated I added a tablespoon of corn starch and whisked to blend.  This helps take the taste of the cornstarch down a notch.  Be careful not to burn it to the bottom, you just want everything blended.  Then whisk in 1 cup of chicken broth or stock.  Wisk in slowly to avoid bumps.  As the chicken broth begins to boil it will thicken. Keep whisking and add 3 Tbsp. of grated parmesan cheese.

It was really yummy.  David had 2 servings!

Tonight for dinner we had grilled pork steaks and asparagus.


I just used some of my in-laws seasoning on the pork steaks with a little salt and pepper.  On the asparagus I sprinkled EVOO and balsamic vinegar along with black pepper and sea salt.  The dressing from the asparagus dripped down onto the pork!  It was so yummy!

I completed it with a salad, you could add some red potatoes or rice to complete the meal but I was trying to cut back on the carbs.

David finished the night with this:


I had a 55 calorie protein smoothie!

I will try to post more this week! including an update on the baby chickens.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Menu Plan

Here is the menu for the next 2 weeks:

  • Tonight – eat in Syracuse
  • Sat 4/2 – Shrimp pasta
  • Sun 4/3 – Pork Steaks with asparagus
  • Mon 4/4 – Steak with wild Mushrooms
  • Tues 4/5 – Stuffed peppers
  • Wed 4/6 – Grill Chicken
  • Thurs 4/7 – Haddock
  • Fri 4/8 -  Minute “philly” steak sandwiches
  • Sat 4/9 – Kabobs with grilled potatoes
  • Sun 4/10 – Beer can chicken
  • Mon 4/11 – Pesto pasta with left over chicken
  • Tues 4/12 – Hamburgers / hot dog
  • Wed 4/13 -  Grilled Cod
  • Thurs 4/14 – TBD